Do you feel badly about taking time for yourself as a mom?

I feel like I never get any downtime for myself. I am constantly taking my daughter to classes, playdates, to the park, or to swim lessons. At times I feel run down and just downright exhausted. But when I do arrange a time to go out with a friend for dinner or my husband (which is not very often) I find I either spend all my time talking about B or worrying about leaving B behind. When I am out to dinner, my thoughts are: Does B have enough to eat? Will she go to sleep on time? Is she missing out because I am out enjoying myself?

Other times I just feel so inundated by my little B and her constant chattering that I just cannot gather my thoughts and then I find myself tuning her out. Then I feel badly that I am not listening to my child. It is like a no win situation.

When I am with her – all day long- all summer long- I feel exhausted and catch myself sometimes being impatient. Then I tell myself,  “well you are so lucky to have this time with your wonderful sweet child and you should stop being so impatient.”

As a parent I feel like I need to try to do everything right for her, and then on the flip side I feel like… well what about me? What about my ME time? I want a haircut or go for a walk or just to read a book without interruption.

Being a parent is the constant feeling of guilt and of not doing enough for your child.

I guess as a mother of a 4 year old I am still trying to figure out balance in my life between being a wife, a mother, myself, and someone who is trying to get back to working while she is at school. All these things. AND I also want to find some time to read a book or work out.

My father told me to just take it minute by minute or day by day. He says take each moment of your life as it comes. You cannot control or worry about everything all of the time. What good does it do if you worry about everything at once when you can only do one thing at a time?

I guess I am trying to find that balance.

So today I tried it…

This morning, I spent the morning going around in my neighborhood passing out my business cards with my friend  who is a realtor who passed out her business cards while B was in the stroller. So I guess you can say I multi tasked and found some balance today? I hung out with my friend to chat, passed out marketing materials for my company, took B out on an excursion of sorts, and worked out (we walked around the neighborhood in the heat for 2 hours). 4 things accomplished in 2 hours – that was a good morning.

Was that really balance you are probably asking me? Well what do the rest of you do? I feel like I am constantly “balancing” as they say…I wish I could just sit and read a book without someone saying to me, “mom I am hungry or I need help on the potty”. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy all my time with B, but being human, I need a break once in a while too.

The big question is  – how do you give yourself time out without feeling guilty? Lots of people say well drop them off at grandparents or just don’t feel bad when you hire a sitter. I don’t know many moms who can do that and not feel badly. OR when you do have that time to yourself a fellow mom may say something to you like, “why are you so tired?” And then you feel like she is judging you because she is a full time working mom with 2 kids and a husband that works on the weekends and she never has time out from her kids. Then you feel like the bad mom who needs too much time away from your child…your only child.

I really don’t know what the real answer to this question is. I guess my problem is that I should stop feeling guilty and stop caring what other people think and do what is best for me so I can be happy with my life because it is my life after all.

Now you are probably wondering well what does that photo of Katie Holmes with Suri and Tom Cruise have to do with all this? I just thought the photo was nice. Even though they have lots of help and can leave Suri at home. Sometimes they take her out too. They want to spend time with her just like all parents want to do with their children and although I am not the biggest fan of Tom Cruise I do think Suri is super cute.

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